In 1998, Metallica released Garage, Inc., a two disc set of songs that were all cover tunes. The second disc were cover songs from their previous releases, and the first disc was all new covers by the band.
Out of all of the covers discs that have been released, this one is still amongst my favorites. Quite a few of the tracks in this set, I had no idea they were covers the first time I heard them.
I never listened to the Misfits, Budgie or Diamond Head, so the tracks Metallica covered by these groups were brand new songs to me. The Metallica versions of these songs were so good, that it did not matter to me once I knew they were covers.
One of my favorites has always been Metallica’s cover of Queen’s Stone Cold Crazy.
As far as cover discs go, this collection has the most bang for the buck for in 2007. This is probably the best collection of cover tunes by any hard rock band to date.
Die Die My Darling
Am I Evil?
Stone Cold Crazy
Turn the Page
Whiskey in the Jar
Rating: Out of 10
1. Free Speech For The Dumb – (originally recorded by Discharge)
2. It’s Electric – (originally recorded by Diamond Head)
3. Sabbra Cadabra – (originally recorded by Black Sabbath)
4. Turn The Page – (originally recorded by Bob Seger)
5. Die Die My Darling – (originally recorded by the Misfits)
6. Loverman – (originally recorded by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds)
7. Mercyful Fate – featuring Evil, Curse of the Pharaohs, Satan’s
8. Astronomy – (originally recorded by Blue Oyster Cult)
9. Whiskey In The Jar – (originally recorded by Thin Lizzy)
10. Tuesday’s Gone – (originally recorded by Lynyrd Skynyrd)
11. The More I See – (originally recorded by Discharge)
1. Helpless – (originally recorded by Diamond Head
2. The Small Hours – (originally recorded by Holocaust)
3. The Wait – (originally recorded by Killing Joke)
4. Last Caress/Green Hell – (originally recorded by The Misfits)
5. Am I Evil? – (originally recorded by Diamond Head)
6. Blitzkrieg – (originally recorded by Blitzkrieg)
7. Breadfan – (originally recorded by Budgie)
8. The Prince – (originally recorded by Diamond Head)
9. Stone Cold Crazy – (originally recorded by Queen)
10. So What – (originally recorded by the Anti-Nowhere League)
11. Killing Time – (originally recorded by Sweet Savage)
12. Overkill – (originally recorded by Motorhead)
13. Damage Case – (originally recorded by Motorhead)
14. Stone Dead Forever – (originally recorded by Motorhead)
15. Too Late Too Late – (originally recorded by Motorhead)
16. Crash Course in Brain Surgery (originally recorded by Budgie)
B-Side Ourselves is only a 5 song EP, so it can hardly be considered to be a full length release.
On this disc, you get 4 studio tracks, and one live cut.
The band sounds great, but as with most covers discs, you enjoyment from this release will depend on how much you like the original songs.
There is a solid but not stellar duet with Rob Halford on Delivering the Goods.
The cover of the Jimi Hendrix song Little Wing is a very decent rendition. I don’t think most people realize they released a video for this song.
B-Side Ourselves clocks in under 20 minutes. You can find this one for next to nothing on the web. Did this disc start the cover disc trend? I am not sure, but I am positive this offering by Skid Row led to more releases of the same nature.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Psycho Therapy (The Ramones)
2. C’Mon And Love Me (KISS)
3. Delivering the Goods [Live] (Judas Priest)
4. What You’re Doing (Rush)
5. Little Wing (Jimi Hendrix)
In March of 2007, Warrant released a video companion to their 2006 CD, Born Again.
In case you didn’t know, Born Again is the first CD, featuring former Black ‘N Blue vocalist, Jamie St. James as the new singer of Warrant. The CD, Born Again is a very solid effort by Warrant, and returns them to the sound that made the band famous.
The video is unique in the fact that is has videos for every song off the CD, Born Again. I don’t recall another band doing this before.
The sound on the DVD is perfect, but the videos are a little repetitive and have somewhat amateurish video editing effects.
I did get quite a bit out of watching the behind the scene features on this disc. The band recorded a bunch of footage of the time when they were in the studio recording the tracks for this CD. I thought this part of the DVD was kind of interesting, but not everyone may share my opinion.
There are quite a few funny moments on the DVD. The guys seem to be having a lot of fun.
You can find this DVD for as little as $13.00 in some retailers. The reasonable cost may make this a DVD worth picking up.
Diehard Warrant fans will want to own this. Other fans may not find this disc as appealing. For the fans attending the Rocklahoma music festival that may not have experienced, Jamie St. James as Warrant’s new front man, this is the only way to do it.
Check out the videos below, for Bourbon County Line, and Devil’s Juice.
Bourbon County Line
Rating: Out of 10
The band BB Steal (Beg Borrow Steal) features Craig CSongrady on Vocals, Kevin Pratt on Guitar, James Young on Drums and Warren Masson on Bass Guitar.
This CD by is a disc that is becoming increasingly harder to find and has been selling for as much as $30.00 on Ebay as of late.
Would I consider this disc essential? That depends on your love for the band Def Leppard. If you like that band, then you will love BB Steal.
On The Edge has quite a few decent tracks, including Big Love, Suffer In Silence, Live It Up, and Love Me and Leave Me.
Live It Up
Love Me and Leave Me
On The Edge may not offer you anything that sounds completely original, but it an above average sounding melodic rock disc, and certainly one worth seeking out.
Rating: Out of 10
- On The Edge (Lizzy Town)
- Big Love
- Ride On
- Suffer In Silence
- Live It Up
- Shot Full Of Love
- Precious Love
- (Don’t You) Love Me And Leave Me
- Heartbeat Away
- Troubled Child
Judging from the quality and great sound of her Independent release, Her Majesty, Sophia Ramos’ long term success is only a short time away.
Her Majesty is a release full of big guitar riffs, and the amazing, powerful vocals of Sophia Ramos. The songs are written with passion and fire, and absolutely rock!
The first four songs on Her Majesty have found repeated plays on my play list.
Black Madonna has a very upbeat sound with a great story. What I Do Know has a guitar sound that brings the band Soundgarden to mind.
The guitar riff on Esperanza is crazy good. I love this track.
(You can listen to Black Madonna and Esperanza in the video below.)
Sophia’s voice soars to new levels on Kill Your Pain. This is another exceptional heavy track on Her Majesty.
Sophia shows off her tremendous voice on Deep in Your Bones. This is a low to mid tempo number that impresses me more with every listen.
Torn Down is one of my favorite songs on Her Majesty. The rhythm on this song will pull you in, and the guitar sound is very infectious. The range of Sophia Ramos’ voice really jumps out at me on this song.
Girlfriend’s Ghost is a kick ass song that is full of fire, and blood pumping rhythm. This song has a Garbage/ Gwen Stefani feel to it, but is much heavier than either of those.
The melody of Shining Still is very cool. It is great to hear Sophia’s voice hitting some higher notes on this song. This track has some electronic effects mixed with the music, that gives it a very cool sound.
Jon’s Song is a low to mid tempo number that could easily be played on mainstream rock radio. The guitars are toned down on this song, giving it a more modern feel.
Sophia pours her heart into Stay Here With You. I can hear her strong Joplin influence on this song.
Her Majesty is an outstanding rock CD! The production and extras on this disc, make you feel like you just picked up a big studio disc. Get on board and check out Sophia Ramos! Big things are certain to happen for her in the future! You can find out more information on Her Majesty at Sophia’s myspace page here, and here website Sophia Ramos.com! You can also listen to and purchase Her Majesty, at CDBaby.com here.
Rating: Out of 10
- Black Madonna
- What I Do Know
- Kill Your Pain
- Deep in my Bones
- Torn Down
- Girlfriend’s Ghost
- Shining Still
- Jon’s Song
- Stay Here With You
This band features the talent of Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath) on drums, Jimmy Bain (DIO) on bass, Chaz West (Bonham) on vocals and Brian Young (David Lee Roth) on guitars. This disc also features 4 tracks produced by former Dokken bass player Jeff Pilson.
Frozen Summer may be short (only 8 songs, 33 minutes), but it does not lack punch. This may be some of the heaviest music you have ever heard Carlos Cavazo perform on to date. This music is riff and bass heavy. The Black Sabbath influence is very easy to pick up on. Chaz West sings his ass off. I don’t remember him sounding this good with Bonham.
XM41, the Boneyard broke out Frozen Summer a few months ago. I heard this track once, and started looking for this disc. This is a heavy track and very killer stuff!
The band recently released a video for Give and Take Away. I like this track more and more with every listen. The Sabbath style heaviness shows itself well on this track.
Rain on My Parade is a low tempo number where Chaz West’s voice really shines. You have to crank this one up to fully appreciate it.
One Good Reason is one of those excellent metal tracks that ignites your soul and makes you want to throw your fists in the air, with your mano cornuta’s extended for the world to see.
Wasted Life has a little bit of blues fused into the music with Chaz West playing the harmonica. No, this doesn’t sound like a Dave Matthews song. This is some classic metal fused with a little bit of blues. The end result is another whiplash-creating, head-banging tune.
The rhythm section of Appice and Bain really shine on the song, Long Way Back From Hell. This is a mid tempo number that really sounds great.
Man oh mercy, the music on Left for Dead is so good, it is crazy. There are great vocals by Chaz West, and the whole band sounds amazing.
Bring the Hammer Down is the only song on Frozen Summer that I couldn’t really get into.
With Frozen Summer you get quality over quantity. I am a big Black Sabbath fan, and I loved hearing the Sabbath influence in these tunes. I can only hope that these guys get together and do a longer disc at some time in the future. 3 Legged Dogg’s debut totally rocks, and has only left me wanting more. For more info on 3 Legged Dogg, check out the band’s myspace page here.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Frozen Summer
2. Give and Take Away
3. Rain on My Parade
4. One Good Reason
5. Wasted Life
6. Long Way Back from Hell
7. Left for Dead
8. Bring the Hammer Down
3 Legged Dogg is:
Chaz West – Vocals
Vinny Appice – Drums
Jimmy Bain – Bass
Carlos Cavazo – Guitars
This disc was not quite as successful, as the U.S. debut, Metal Health, but still managed to sell over 3 million copies.
I must admit that it has been quite some time since I have dusted off my copy of Condition Critical. This disc is a solid, but not stellar effort by the Quiet Riot crew of Kevin Dubrow, Carlos Cavazo, Rudy Sarzo, and Frankie Banali.
The songs Mama Weer All Crazee Now, and Party All Night are two of Quiet Riot’s biggest anthems ever, and are favorites of mine.
Stomp Your Hands, Clap your Feet is pure 80’s cheese. I can live without this song.
Winners Take All was Quiet Riot’s lone attempt at a power ballad on Condition Critical. I never have liked this song, and still dont.
The guitar sound on Condition Critical sounds a lot like a few of the songs Ozzy was releasing around the same time period. I can definitely hear Randy Rhoads influence on Carlos Cavazo on this song. I actually like it more today, than when I picked this disc up years ago.
Scream and Shout is one of the heaver songs on Condition Critical, and a pretty good one at that.
After listening to Red Alert again, I am surprised that Quiet Riot didn’t release this song as a single. It isn’t an amazing song, but could have possibly been a modest hit for the band back in the ’80’s.
Carlos Cavazo’s guitar playing is the highlight on Bad Boy. This track would just be average if not for his excellent guitar licks.
(We Were) Born To Rock is another throw away track to me.
Condition Critical is not the best rock record you will ever listen to, but its far from the worst. The hits on this record make up for some of the more average sounding tracks. Carlos Cavazo’s playing makes this a disc worth checking out.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Sign Of The Times
2. Mama Weer All Crazee Now
3. Party All Night
4. Stomp Your Hands, Clap Your Feet
5. Winners Take All
6. Condition Critical
7. Scream And Shout
8. Red Alert
9. Bad Boy
10. (We Were) Born To Rock
One of the bands that will be taking the stage late Saturday Afternoon during the Rocklahoma Music Festival, is Firehouse. This is one of the bands that I would love to catch live again, as they always put on a good show.
The last disc Firehouse put out, Prime Time, was a far heavier disc than they have released in recent years, and one of my personal favorites.
The first track Prime Time is a heavy funky number that has a very RATT like bass feel to it. Bill Leverty has a great solo in this song.
The first time I heard Door to Door, my first thoughts were Hell Yeah! A hard rock band that wrote a song about NASCAR. I love it when two of my favorite things come together this well. This song was actually sung by drummer, Michael Foster. Great Song!
Perfect Lie is a heavy number that has a keyboard track added in. I love to hear Firehouse rocking out like this! Very Cool!
Bill Leverty takes over the vocals on Holding On. He has a very good Southern Rock style of voice. When paired with this great music, it sounds pretty cool.
Body Language is one of the heaviest, sounding numbers on Prime Time. This is one of my favorite tracks on this disc.
I’m the One features Bill Leverty on vocals and has a very bluesy older Whitesnake feel about it. This song keeps the pace moving nicely, and is quite good.
C.J. Snare takes over the microphone on Take Me Away. This song is a very upbeat, hard track with more great solos by Bill Leverty.
Home Tonight is an up tempo number. To me this is the only song on Prime Time that is average. The pacing of the lyrics is kind of strange at times, but the music kicks ass. I guess its a trade off, but is my least favorite song on this disc.
Let Go is a very nice piano based ballad. I thought it was odd to close the disc out with this track instead of putting it more towards the center of Prime Time.
In Conclusion, Prime Time rocks harder than any recording that Firehouse has released, but stays true to the bands’ sound. Hard rock fans are sure to enjoy this CD and should pick it up. Rocklahoma concert goers are sure to hear some of these kick ass song live in July!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Prime Time
3. Door to Door
4. Perfect Lie
5. Holding On
6. Body Language
7. I’m the One
8. Take Me Away
9. Home Tonight
10. Let Go
After a couple of discs in the metal band Sword, singer Rick Hughes formed a brand new band called Saints & Sinners. This self titled debut was a departure from the metal of Sword, and was a move into more of a 80’s glam, hard rock sound in the vein of Skid Row meets Tyketto.
Saints & Sinners features, Rick Hughes on vocals, Stephane Dufour on guitar, Martin Bolduc on bass , Jeff Salem on drums, and Jesse Bradman on keyboards.
Armed with a bunch of great songs that have the writing credits of Aldo Nova, Jon Bon Jovi, and Rachel Bolan from Skid Row, this disc was sure to be a huge hit. It was released just as grunge was taking off, and never got the push that it deserved. It is one of the better hard rock discs released during this time.
Walk That Walk
Wheels of Fire
This disc has become quite impossible to find. It occasionally shows up on EBay and Gemm Music.
If you are looking for a very good melodic metal disc, this is one that is worth searching for.
Fans of great 80’s hard rock bands, and hair metal are sure to love this. This is one of my favorite, hard rock gems in my music collection.
Rating: Out of 10
2. Rip It Up
3. Walk That Walk
4. Takin’ My Chances
5. Kiss the Bastards
6. Wheels of Fire
7. Lesson of Love
8. We Belong
10. Slippin’ into Darkness
Scorpions fans are going to be quite happy when they listen to Humanity Hour 1. The band resumes with their classic heavy sound, and this disc will kick your ass on the very first listen.
Klaus Meine’s voice still sounds amazing. He hasn’t lost a note. Rudy Schenker and Matthias Jabs are still one of the best guitar tandems in hard rock today. Their playing on this record is superb.
This disc starts firing on all cylinders immediately with this heavy track Hour 1. This track took me by surprise, and is an early favorite.
The Game of Life is a mid tempo semi heavy number. Its a good song track that wouldn’t have been out of place on Savage Amusement.
We Were Born to Fly is a low to mid tempo number that could be a potential hit for the Scorpions. It is melodic tune with heavy parts.
The Future Never Lies is a piano based ballad that almost has some Queen like elements. Its another solid tune on Humanity Hour 1.
After a couple of slower songs, the Scorpions crank it back up again with You’re Lovin’ Me To Death. This is another song with big radio potential.
321 has an ultra heavy bass riff, and is extremely catchy. This one is going to get a lot of airplay.
The pace slows back down with Love Will Keep Us Alive. Klaus Meine’s voice shines on this lighter track. This is a song that could actually get airplay on soft rock radio stations.
I find myself getting a little bored with Your Last Song. Its pure melodic AOR. There isn’t really anything wrong with the song, but I could have used something a little heavier at this spot in the record.
Love Is War is a low to mid tempo number, that I find to be just an average track. It never really delivers that punch that I am looking for. Not great, but far from bad.
We Will Rise Again is the track I was looking for. It has all of those heavy and melodic moments that I look for in a Scorpions song. Great Stuff!
The Cross features Klaus Meine and the vocals of Smashing Pumpkins, singer Billy Corgan. The guitar styling on this track almost sounds Nu-metal at times but then falls back into that great Scorpion style. Its a cool track.
I am sure you have heard the track Humanity a few times by now. Its a slower track, but its also a great tune, and a solid way to close out this disc. This is classic Scorpions at their best.
Humanity Hour 1 is another great disc by the Scorpions. If you enjoyed the last disc, Unbreakable, I am sure you will like this one too. U.S. hard rock fans can pick this up on May 25th everywhere.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Hour I
2. The Game of Life
3. We Were Born To Fly
4. Future Never Dies
5. You’re Lovin’ Me To Death
7. Love Will Keep Us Alive
8. Your Last Song
9. Love Is War
10. We Will Rise Again
His band mates this time around are Zakk Wylde on guitar, Rob “Blasko” Nicholson (Rob Zombie) on bass, and Mike Bordin (Faith No More) on drums.
I must admit that my first impression with Black Rain, is that this is the heaviest Ozzy disc in years. Zakk Wylde has been wanting to something heavy with Ozzy for a long time, and was pretty disgusted with the writing on Down to Earth. On that record, Zakk Wylde played on all of the songs, but did not have any writing credits. Zakk Wylde co-wrote eight of the 10 tunes on Black Rain. The end result is a far heavier disc, and probably the closest thing to Ozzy’s 1995 disc, Ozzmosis.
The first track, Not Going Away starts off with a monstrous, Black Sabbath type of riff. This track gets better with each listen.
The track, I Don’t Wanna Stop is getting airplay just about every where now, and Ozzy is playing this live in various TV programs, in an effort to promote Black Rain. I agree with what seems to be the majority opinion on this song. I love this track!
The title track, Black Rain is a mid tempo track with a heavy bass sound; and a cool song that is nearly a throw back to early 80’s Ozzy. I can see this track being a hit on the radio, easily.
A nice change of pace is the number Lay Your World on Me on which Ozzy’s voice is the most powerful instrument. On this low tempo track, Blasko’s bass is mixed louder than Zakk’s guitar 95% of the time, but it comes across sounding very cool.
The Almighty Dollar is kind of weird to me. This sounds like Ozzy trying to do a Nine Inch Nails song. Its not all bad, but it has some strange music elements to it. I like the heavy parts, but when this song gets a little bouncy, it doesn’t work. At least not for me.
11 Silver is an extremely upbeat sounding song, but is different from anything I recall Ozzy doing in the past. The bass groove is extremely springy, and Zakk Wylde’s guitar solo in the center is great! I didn’t like this song at first, but its growing on me with every listen. In 2007, its hard to make Ozzy sound fresh, but this is pretty damn good attempt to do so.
Civilize the Universe reminds me a lot of the sound Rob Zombie’s band has. Blasko really shows his influence in this song. This is another good, foot-stomping, rock and roll hit.
Here for You is a piano based ballad that is actually very good. I have heard Ozzy do these type of songs before, but I think this one is one of the better ones in a long time.
Something about Coundown’s Begun reminds me quite a bit of Lynch era Dokken. The whole guitar and heavy bass riff is very Dokken like. Zakk Wylde and Blasko reproduce a sound that is very complimentary of one of the best metal tandem’s of 80’s style hard rock (Lynch and Pilson). Very cool!
Trapdoor is probably my 2nd most favorite song on Black Rain. Zakk Wylde’s riff on this track has a real mean sound to it. This is the kind of song that could make me go to Ozzfest, so I can see it live. The whole bass and drum sound in the center of the track are cool as hell. What an amazing way to close out this record!
On my first listen to this disc, I wasn’t extremely impressed with this disc. Successive listens have changed my mind. I keep hearing and noticing different things each time I listen to it. Ozzy Osbourne sings his ass off on this disc, and sounds great all throughout Black Rain. The Zakk Wylde neigh sayers will be happy to know that, Zakk does not over use the pinch harmonics on this record. Zakk’s playing is stellar, end of story. Blasko and Mike Bordin are not fill in musicians. They are excellent additions to Ozzy’s band, and truly add to the music on this record. I hope this group stays together for another record. Until then, I will enjoy this record repeatedly. Hopefully Ozzy wont make us wait six more years for another one.
Don’t even hesitate to pick this disc up! If you are an Ozzy fan, it is required listening!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Not Going Away
2. I Don’t Wanna Stop
3. Black Rain
4. Lay Your World on Me
5. Almighty Dollar
6. 11 Silver
7. Civilize the Universe
8. Here for You
9. Countdown’s Begun
10. Trap Door
Ozzy Osbourne band is:
Ozzy Osbourne – Vocals
Zakk Wylde – Guitars
Blasko – Bass
Mike Bordin – Drums
Caution! The following CD has more glam, than even the glam mistress, Allyson is ready for.
Believe it or not, this is the fifth CD for glam rockers, Shameless. There are Eleven new tracks, produced and engineered by Keri Kelli and featuring Steve Summers (Pretty Boy Floyd) on vocals.
This disc has a ton of guest stars including, Stevie Rachelle (TUFF), Phil Lewis (LA Guns), Jani Lane (Warrant ) and John Corabi (Motley Crue / Union / ESP /RATT), and Eric Singer (KISS).
The opening track Crashdown, kind of reminds me of an Ugly Kid Joe song. Steve Summers vocals sounds a lot like Whitfield Crane’s on this song. It is a cool song to open this disc with.
She’s Watching You maintains that punk feel, but it is a fun little song that merits a few listens. This song features Jani Lane on back up vocals.
Better Off Without You features the vocals of Phil Lewis (L.A. Guns) and the Drums of Eric Singer (KISS). This is a very cool sounding track.
We Won’t Take It Anymore has a big guitar sound in the vein of CC Deville. Steve Summers almost sounds like Vince Neil on this track. This is one of my favorites on this disc.
No Regrets features the vocals of TUFF singer and Metal Sludge’s very own, Stevie Rachelle. His vocals on this one, are very growly on this one, and sounds more like Steve Summers than the person that used to sing for TUFF. Its a short little song with the great sounding guitars of B.C. and Michael Thomas.
Shameless slows it down for the song, Magical Misery. This is closest thing you will find to a power ballad in 2007. This is a great sounding track with Steve Summers on vocals.
Web Junkie is a fun song with great lyrics. Could they have been writing this song about me?
Complications features the vocals of John Corabi, and this track has more of a sleaze sound than glam. It is also the heaviest track on Famous 4 Madness. I love Corabi’s vocals, so I knew this track would not disappoint me, and it doesn’t. Great Stuff!
Stevie Rachelle is back singing Dirty Shirt. Stevie’s vocals sound like his old TUFF style for this song.
Party Tonight is very much in the vein of Poison. It is a very fun track to close out Famous 4 Madness.
Shameless is out to prove that glam is not dead. Famous 4 Madness is a disc full of 80’s style hard/glam rock that should not be missed. This disc is essential to all glam fans! You can pick it up at the following site. For more information on Shameless, please visit it Shameless Rock.
Rating: Out of 10
- Famous 4 Madness
- She’s Watchin’ U
- Better Off Without U
- We Won’t Take It Anymore
- No Regrets
- Magical Misery
- Web Junkie
- Dirty Shirt
- Party Tonight
No one can accuse Gotthard of not giving you a release worth your money. Domino Effect has 14 songs and a bonus track, for almost a full hour of music.
This disc starts killing me almost immediately. This first two tracks, Master of Illusion and Gone Too Far are melodic, heavy rockers in the vein of the Scorpions. Singer Steve Lee, has a killer voice. He sometimes reminds me of Firehouse’s C.J. Snare, but these tunes are far heavier than anything Firehouse has ever done.
Domino Effect starts off with a riff that sounds like it came from Rob Zombie’s Thunderkiss ’69, but this song has a life all its own. It is a great song with a killer groove, and is extremely catchy.
Gotthard shows that they can slow it down with the best of them. The track Falling sounds like it could have been on a Steve Perry era Journey record. Once again, another excellent track.
I must admit that the first time that I listened to The Call, I didn’t like it much. It was maybe a little too mellow. Then I watched the following video, and did a complete 180° on my opinion.This could be a huge multi-crossover hit in the United States, if any radio stations had the balls to play it.
After the last two mid tempo numbers, Gotthard goes back to rocking with The Oscar Goes to You. This is another track that has a huge sound with radio possibility ala Bon Jovi. It is another highly enjoyable melodic rocker.
After listening to The Cruiser (Judgement Day), I am amazed how freaking great this CD is. Leo Leoni and Freddy Scherer sound so damn cool on this track.
Heal Me has all of the great catchy heavy elements that 8o’s hard rock fans are going to love. The bass on this track by Marc Lynn, reminds me a bunch of Nikki Sixx in styling. The guitars on this track are great as well.
Letter to a Friend slows the pace back down again, but only temporarily, as this track busts out into a multi tempo number that has HIT written all over it. This song has elements that reminds me quite a bit of the Scorpions. Great Stuff!
Tomorrow’s Just Begun is an acoustic based power ballad that really delivers the goods. This is another track with multi-crossover hit potential.
Come Alive has a funky drum and bass groove, that could actually be a pop/rock radio hit. This track kind of reminds me of a cross between Bon Jovi and Def Leppard.
The keyboards of Bad to the Bone have a sound the reminds a little of Deep Purple, but quite frankly, this song is closer to the style of Slippery When Wet era Bon Jovi. Steve Lee uses those same vocoder effects from Living on a Prayer. Cool Stuff!
At this point, the disc could have ended and I would have been extremely happy with the content. The final three tracks are solid though, and I am glad they are here.
Now is a hard rocking number that is Bon Jovi-esque.
Something about Where is the Love When It’s Gone had the music feel of a Jon Mellancamp track, with the addition of a heavier bass track. This track is unlike anything else on this disc.
The bonus track, Can’t Be the Real Thing is not a throw in at all. It is an upbeat heavy number, that is quite catchy. What a great track to close out this disc!
I have listened and reviewed quite a few new releases in 2007, and none of them represent that great 80’s style hard rock sound as well as Gotthard’s Domino Effect. This disc kicks major ass, and is essential to every hard rock fan on the planet. It is mind boggling how few of people in the United States knows about this band. If there is any disc that will finally put them on the map here, Domino Effect would be the one.
Rating: Out of 10
- Master of Illusion
- Gone Too Far
- Domino Effect
- The Call
- The Oscar Goes to You
- The Cruiser (Judgement Day)
- Heal Me
- Letter To a Friend
- Tomorrow’s Just Begun
- Come Alive
- Bad to the Bone
- Where is the Love When It’s Gone
- Can’t Be the Real Thing (Bonus Track)
The band you will see live is not the same group that recorded this CD, but is the Tracii Guns version of L.A. Guns with Paul Black on vocals (Paul Black was the singer in L.A. Guns prior to Phil Lewis), Chad Stewart on Drums, and Jeremy Guns on bass. Which one you prefer to see live probably depends on which singer or guitarist you prefer, but at Rocklahoma, you aren’t going to get that choice. Drummer Steve Riley owns 50% of the L.A. Guns name, and Tracii Guns the other 50%. As a result of this, you get two bands with the same name.
This live CD however features the Phil Lewis lead L.A. Guns, and shows off the talents of band still recording under the this name (actually Tracii Guns, L.A. Guns is now recording under this name too, what a ball of confusion), and the vocalist that most L.A. Guns fans are familiar with.
This L.A. Guns line up features singer Phil Lewis, guitarist Stacey Blades (Roxx Gang), drummer Steve Riley and bassist Scott Griffin.
So how does this version of L.A. Guns sound? Pretty damn good. Phil Lewis sounds great on vocals, and Stacey Blades does a damn good job on guitar. Just listen to the solo on the track on Nothing Better to Do, and you will be sold on the new L.A. Guns axeman! This group sounds as good as the initial band that recorded the self titled debut, back in 1988, and this disc shows that they can still kick ass live in 2006! Their biggest hits are well represented on Loud and Dangerous, plus you get a couple of videos to boot. If you like your hard rock live, this disc is almost as good as being there.
Sadly, You won’t experience this version of the band at Rocklahoma. I can only hope that the Tracii Guns version of the band can reproduce the kind of energy heard on this disc live. You can hear Tracii’s L.A. Guns at their myspace page here , for the Phil Lewis lead L.A. Guns, visit the following link.
The videos below will give you a taste of Phil Lewis and Stacey Blades live. Great Stuff!
Rating: Out of 10
1. No Mercy
2. Sex Action
3. Never Enough
4. Over the Edge
5. Rock N’ Roll Outlaw
6. Nothing Better to Do
7. Hellraisers Ball
8. One More Reason
9. Electric Gypsy
10. Ballad of Jayne
11. Rip and Tear
12. Don’t Look at Me That Way
13. Hollywood’s Burning [DVD]
14. It Don’t Mean Nothing [DVD]
Dave Mustaine once called this one of his top 10 Metal CD’s of all time. With that in mind, I knew I had to seek this one out. Finally, after many unsuccessful purchases and auctions, I landed a copy.
Does this disc live up to Mustaine’s opinion of it? I am not so sure about that, but Metalized is a damn good Metal disc. Sword is a Canadian metal band that consists of Rick Hughes on vocals, Mike Plant on guitars, Mike Larock on bass, and Dan Hughes on drums.
Sword opened for Metallica on the 1986 Master of Puppets tour in support of this disc, but I would not consider a thrash album, but pure heavy metal. This band reminds me of Savatage, and a little bit of Armored Saint.
Rick Hughes throaty screams are very similar in style to Jon Oliva. Mike Plant absolutely shreds on guitar, and the rhythm section of Mike Larock and Dan Hughes are second to none. Metalized is full of excellent vocals, great guitar work, heavy bass and thunderous drums that will appeal to 80’s hard rock fans.
My favorite tracks are F.T.W. (Follow the Wheel), Stoned Again, Out of Control, The End of the Night and Runaway.
Metalheads are sure to love this disc. Do not hesitate to pick this one up, if you ever see a copy. It is hard to find, but worth the pursuit!
Aquarius Records released a Best of Sword in 2006, and that is far easier to pick up than Metalized.
Either disc would be a great addition to your hard rock collection!. For more info on Sword, check out the band’s myspace page.
Rating: Out of 10
2. Children of Heaven
3. Stoned Again
4. Dare to Spit
5. Outta Control
6. End of the Night
8. Where to Hide
9. Stuck in Rock
10. Evil Spell
Rick Hughes – Vocals
Dan Hughes – Drums
Mike Larock – Bass
Mike Plant – Guitar
The mighty Megadeth returns in 2007 with their eleventh studio album, United Abominations!
There has been plenty of hype about this disc over the last several months, so the major question is does it live up to the hype?
This first track assaults your ears and senses immediately and sets the stage for what is going to be an amazing listen. Sleepwalker takes Megadeth back to their thrash roots. This heavy track could have easily been on the Rust In Peace album. This is one of my early favorites! I love it!
Washington is Next gets better each time I hear it. This track is a heavy high speed number that the wimpy rock radio stations wont come close to touching. I have listened to this track several times, and I seem to like it more each time.
Man oh man, the guitars howl on Never Walk Alone…A Call To Arms. I love this song for the guitar work alone, but the song structure is very cool. This song is heavy, but has radio potential.
After my first listen, I did not care for United Abominations. Multiple listens later, the song has now grown on me, and I can see some radio potential with this song. It is good, but far from the best track on this disc.
I heard a rough demo of Gears of War a few months ago, and have been looking forward to this one. The polished track is nice and heavy, and features more stellar guitar work by Dave Mustaine and Glen Drover.
My least favorite track off of U.A. so far is Blessed are the Dead. It is the least memorable track after a couple of listens.
Play for Blood has an awesome groove and will have most ‘deth fans head banging for sure. GREAT Stuff!!
The track that is already getting plenty of radio airplay is the reworked version of À Tout La Monde that was originally on the 1994 disc, Youthanasia. This new version features the vocals of Dave Mustaine and Cristina Scabbia from Lacuna Coil. I like this version as well as the original, and the video for the song is kind of cool.
I am not crazy about Amerikhastan. I know Dave Mustaine is passionate about politics, but hearing him chant about it in a song, is not what I am looking for in a Megadeth song. Sorry Dave, but this song doesn’t work for me.
Your Dead is heavy, guitar-shredding, monster of a track. The best thing about this one is the guitar work.
Burnt Ice is an insane guitar noodling festival of Metal. I get tired just trying to play the air guitar along with this one. Crazy!
So the bottom line, does United Abominations live up to the hype, Yes and No. I guess it depends on what you are looking for in a Megadeth album. United Abominations is heavier that some of the bands’ more recent offerings, and less mainstream, that what a lot of the newer fans may be used to. For me, I enjoyed this disc, as it is heavier than the last few, and guitar work is superb. Is this the best Megadeth CD I have ever listened to? No it isnt. You don’t hear too many new metal discs sounding this good today. Long time Megadeth fans should certainly pick this up. Metal fans will love United Abominations.
Rating:Out of 10
2. Washington Is Next!
3. Never Walk Alone…A Call To Arms
4. United Abominations
5. Gears Of War
6. Blessed Are The Dead
7. Play For Blood
8. À Tout Le Monde (Set Me Free)
10. You’re Dead
11. Burnt Ice
Dave Mustaine – Vocals and Guitars
Glen Drover – Guitars
James Lomenzo – Bass
Shawn Drover – Drums
Cryptic Writings is the 7th studio disc by Megadeth. Cryptic Writings features the same band roster as Countdown to Extinction, but even with four top 20 radio hits, Trust, Almost Honest, Use the Man, and A Secret Place, the most success this album could muster was a gold album (over 500K units sold). I am sure the lack of sales had to leave Dave Mustaine scratching his head, as Cryptic Writings is nearly solid all the way through.
From the initial tribal drum beats of Nick Menza, I knew almost immediately that I was going to like this disc. The first three tracks, Trust, Almost Honest and Use the Man are solid mid temp rockers with heavy elements, and start off Cryptic Writings well. I don’t think disc falters until you hit the jangly track Mastermind. I didn’t care for that one much.
The Disintegrators is one of the heavier tracks on this disc, and this is classic Megadeth. This is something for the fans wanting a little more thrash in their music.
I’ll Get Even is more mainstream and hopelessly catchy. You will find yourself singing along with this track. Sin can’t seem decide if it wants to go mainstream rock or thrash. I couldn’t get into this track until the last minute of it or so, in which it picks up a heavy drum and bass rhythm.
A Secret Place is another radio friendly track that is a pretty good listen. This is one of least heavy Megadeth tracks I think I have ever heard, but it works.
Have Cool, Will Travel was just an average track to me. I go back and forth between liking this one, and not liking it.
If there were more tracks like She-Wolf on Cryptic Writings, I am sure that this disc would have sold a lot more copies. This is the first true high tempo offering with that classic guitar chugging, Megadeth speed metal. Vortex keeps that pace going well. There is plenty of guitar noodling on this track, but it is a little too late to push this disc over the edge.
FFF (Fight For Freedom) ends this disc with a heavy almost punk sounding track. It is an OK track but nothing essential.
Cryptic Writings may not live up to Countdown to Extinction or Youthanasia, but its another solid effort by Dave Mustaine, Marty Friedman, David Ellefson and Nick Menza. This CD is not as heavy as many in the Megadeth discology, and probably alienated a few fans along the way. It still has enough great mainstream songs to make it worthy of a pickup!
Rating:Out of 10
2. Almost Honest
3. Use The Man
5. The Disintegrators
6. I’ll Get Even
8. A Secret Place
9. Have Cool, Will Travel
Quite possibly my favorite Megadeth CDs of all time is the 1992 release Countdown to Extinction. This disc has three top 40 radio hits off it including Symphony of Destruction, Sweating Bullets and Foreclosure of a Dream.
Megadeth followed Metallica’s formula of shorter less complicated songs and hit major mainstream success with this disc. To date, Countdown to Extinction is is Megadeth’s only multi-platinum disc to date (over 2 million sold).
From the opening riffs of Skin O’ My Teeth you just knew this disc would be classic.
Symphony of Destruction is my all time favorite Megadeth song. I never get sick of hearing this one.
I still get a charge out of Architecture Of Aggression. Mustaine and Friedman’s awesome solos and the pounding rhythm of Dave Ellefson’s bass and Nick Menza’s drumming makes this song a headbanger’s delight.
Foreclosure of a dream is an absolute classic Megadeth song. No collection should be without this track.
I always found the track, Sweating Bullets kind of silly, but I have to admit it is catchy. The solos in the middle of the track is what makes it so great. The video is pretty cool too.
It has been a while since I listened to This Was My Life, and I had to listen to it a second time, as it is another great song on Coundown to Extinction. The chugging bass of Dave Ellefson is so cool on this track. Great!!
Usually by this time you start find a little bit of filler material, but not here. The title track Countdown to Extinction is a very mainstream hard rock song, and a damn good one at that. I found a home made video featuring Godzilla for this one. Cool Stuff!
There are more great guitar solos between Dave Mustaine and Marty Friedman on High Speed Dirt. I like this track a lot.
Psychotron is infectious as hell. Listen to this song once, and I bet you will find yourself singing along. SciFi fans will love the video below!
Captive Honour is another excellent hard driving tune, that often gets over looked on Countdown to Extinction. There is plenty of guitar noodling and cool drum beats on this one.
Ashes In Your Mouth closes out Countdown to Extinction with a good heavy track with more chugging guitars, guitar solos and Mustaine’s signature snarls. Its a perfect way to close out this excellent set of tunes.
Out of the entire Megadeth discology, you will have a hard time finding a stronger set of tunes than the ones on Countdown to Extinction. This disc is one of my all time favorite metal discs. It should be essential to every hard rock music fan!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Skin O’ My Teeth
2. Symphony Of Destruction
3. Architecture Of Aggression
4. Foreclosure Of A Dream
5. Sweating Bullets
6. This Was My Life
7. Countdown To Extinction
8. High Speed Dirt
10. Captive Honour
11. Ashes In Your Mouth
Bite Down Hard is the third studio disc by Britny Fox, and is the debut by new vocalist Tommy Paris. Very few bands improve with a change of singers, but in the case of Britny Fox, Tommy Paris is a much better singer than original vocalist “Dizzy” Dean Davidson.
I am not knocking the Davidson era of Britny Fox at all though, I enjoyed the discs he sang on, but Paris has more range, and adds more to the songs than “Dizzy” Dean did.
The current band you will see play live, is Tommy Paris on vocals, Greg D’Angelo (ex-White Lion) on drums, Billy Childs on bass, and Tommy Krash on guitar. Johnny Dee and Michael Kelly Smith were unable to tour, so Greg and Tommy are filling in right now.
Chances are, you are going to hear quite a few tunes from Bite Down Hard, and that is a good thing, as this is one kick ass hard rock disc. Bite Down Hard also features guest appearances by Zakk Wylde and Rikki Rockett, but I doubt you will notice any difference on the tunes they are on.
The stand out tracks are Six Guns Loaded, Louder, Close to Your Love, Shot From My Gun and Look My Way. This is a solid hard rock disc, and easily as good as the Britny Fox debut. This disc was reissued by Wounded Bird Records in 2006, so you should have no trouble finding this one. I envy you folks that will get to see Britny Fox perform these tunes live at Rocklahoma. Until they hit my hometown, I will have to settle for the video below.
1. Six Guns Loaded
4. Closer to Your Love
5. Over and Out
6. Shot from My Gun
7. Black and White
8. Look My Way
9. Lonely Too Long
10. Midnight Moses
No Sweat features Paul Quinn on vocals, Dave Gooding on guitar, Jim Phillips on guitar, Jon Angel on bass, Paul J. Smith on Keyboards, and Ray Fean on drums.
This disc actually features the drumming of former Kingdom Come member James Kottak(before Ray Fean was in the band), and also enlisted a couple of guest stars in Saga’s Michael Sadler and James Crichton.
No Sweat has a sound that reminds me quite a bit of Tyketto, and much like that band, No Sweat didn’t earn the fame they deserved. This is another one of those great hard rock CD’s from the early 90’s, that by all means should have made this band a household name. They did have a semi hit with their video for Heart and Soul on MTV for a while, and was getting plenty of play back on the nationally syndicated Z-Rock Hard Rock Radio Station.
Heart and Soul
There really isn’t a bad song on this disc, and all of the tunes have a very polished sound. The guitars are clean, the bass isn’t over powering, and the keyboards are mixed well. Paul Quinn’s delivery of his vocals remind me quite a bit of Danny Vaughn’s style, but he has a sound all his own.
My favorite tracks are Heart and Soul, Shake, On the Edge, Tear Down the Walls, and Generation.
You can still grab a used copy of this CD for next to nothing off of Amazon.com. It is a damn fine disc, and still worth picking up.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Heart And Soul
4. On The Edge
5. Waters Flow
6. Tear Down The Walls
8. Lean On Me
A few years after his departure from Guns ‘N Roses, Izzy Stradlin released his second solo CD, 117°. After listening to his excellent 2006 CD, Like A Dog, I knew that I had to pick up some of Izzy’s back catalog of music. Luckily, the local rock shop, had a copy of 117° in their cut out bin, so I could not resist picking it up.
117° features Izzy Stradlin on lead guitar and vocals, former G’NR band mate Duff McKagan on bass, Rick Richards (Georgia Satellites) on guitar, and Taz Bentley (Reverend Horton Heat) on drums.
Those of you looking for a Guns ‘N Roses like CD, are not going to find it with 117°. You can hear a bunch of straight forward rock tunes by one of G ‘N R’s main song writers.
117° has a lot of blues infested rock complete with great guitar work, some slide guitar, and a little bit of rockabilly in places. This CD is more similar in style to the Rolling Stones, than G ‘N R. Izzy Stradlin doesn’t compare to Mick Jagger by any means, but he does an admirable job on vocals.
My favorite tracks off of this disc are Ain’t It A Bitch, The Chuck Berry cover Memphis, the excellent 117°, and the heaviest track Grunt.
This disc may not be heavy enough for the average hard rock fan, but there is enough good music on 117° which merits giving this one a listen. Check out the tracks below, and let me know what you think!
Ain’t It A Bitch
Rating: Out of 10
1. Ain’t It A Bitch
2. Gotta Say
4. Old Hat
7. Good Enough
9. Here Before You
10. Up Jumped The Devil
12. Freight Train
14. Surf Roach
Another great find from Finland, is the progressive metal band Leverage. If you are a fan of bands like Dream Theater, I think you are going to like this disc a lot. I would compare this band to a heavy Journey, or a lighter Dream Theater.
Leverage features the excellent vocals of Pekka Heino (Brother Firetribe), Tuomas Heikkinen on guitar, Torsti Spoof on guitar, Pekka Lampinen on bass, Marko Niskala on keys, and Valtteri Revonkorpi on drums.
Every site that I looked into that had any mention of Leverage, was giving their disc, Tides rave reviews, so I had no choice but to check it out myself. I made the rare purchase off of ITunes for this one, as it was available for less than 10 dollars. Tides is a disc full of excellent melodic and progressive metal. The guitars are heavy and chugging, and the keyboards blend well with Pekka Heino’s great voice.
At times Pekka Heino’s voice reminds me of Danny Vaughn from Tyketto. Very Cool!
The live clips below don’t have the greatest of sound, but will give you a very good idea of what you will hear on Tides.
There really isn’t a bad song on this disc, and the sound quality and production on Tides is superb. My favorite tracks are Fifteen Years, Dreamworld, Follow Down that River, and Gone. If you enjoy the hard edged music of Dream Theater, you ought to give Leverage’s Tides a listen. It is a solid effort all the way through, and worth picking up. You can hear more of Leverage’s music, at their myspace here.
Rating:Out of 10
- Fifteen Years
- Follow Down That River
- Marching to War
- Twilight Symphony
Lead Singer Scotty P. may not have the voice for everyone. His voice is so cigarette and alcohol stained that he could nearly be a Death Metal growler, yet somehow his voice works here.
The Music on Livin’ In the Red is loud and furious. Don’t look for any power ballads by these guys. This is hard as nails, in your face rock and roll.
My biggest problem with Livin’ In the Red, is there are no real stand out tracks. If you hear one song, you pretty much get the same feel and heaviness from the rest of them. I can see that this band has loads of potential, but Livin’ In the Red is not the career defining album for these guys.
If you are a fan of Sleaze, you ought to give them a look on their myspace page to see what you think of them. Livin’ In the Red might be your cup of tea, but it did not do it for me. I found that it was needing two or three great tracks to push it along, and I never could find them.
Rating: Out of 10
1. We Want It All
2. Fueled By A 5th
3. Love Me Like A Suicide
4. Livin’ In The Red
5. Rock ‘n’ Roll Homicide
6. That’s How We Roll
7. Speed Kills
8. Devils Ride
9. Back To Piss You Off
Out of all of the bands playin in the Rocklahoma Music Festival in 2007, W.A.S.P. is one of the few bands that has new music to play for the fans. (Warrant, Quiet Riot, and Bang Tango are the others.)
Dominator starts off with two great heavy tracks Mercy and Long, Long Way to Go. Blackie seems to sing in a little lower register on Mercy, and I like it a lot. This is a great new song.
The rhythm section takes over on Long, Long Way to Go. This fast and heavy drum beats of Mike Dupke really drives this track. Doug Blair cuts loose and provides some great solos, and Blackie sounds great as always!
Take Me Up is a varying tempo number that Blackie Lawless shines on. Great!!
The chugging guitars of Burning Man is very cool. Doug Blair’s outstanding guitar work makes this track shine. This is another excellent track on Dominator.
Heaven’s Hung in Black is a lengthy (over 7 minutes) powerful track that needs to be listened to multiple times to truly discover how great it is. It starts as a slow brooding number but breaks into something much heavier. Blackie’s voice is amazing and Doug Blair’s guitar noodling is superb.
Heaven’s Blessed cranks up the tempo once more, and is another great heavy tune on Dominator.
Teacher feels like a potential Rock Radio hit. I can see this one getting added to the playlists at some of the hard rock stations and XM radio’s Boneyard.
The revisit of Heaven’s Hung in Black (Reprise) was not really needed on this disc, and seems like a wasted track. If you need a shorter version of the song above, this one is the way to go, but you will miss out on Blair’s guitar work on the longer version.
Deal with the Devil is a heavy, upbeat rocker and a great album closer.
Dominator is another solid effort by W.A.S.P. and another great disc worth picking up in 2007. Currently, it seems the distribution of this disc has not brought into most U.S. retailers (unless you import it.)
Rocklahoma fans have some great new W.A.S.P. tunes to look forward to on the last night of the festival!
Rating: Out of 10
2. Long, Long Way to Go
3. Take Me Up
4. Burning Man
5. Heaven’s Hung in Black
6. Heaven’s Blessed
8. Heaven’s Hung in Black (Reprise)
9. Deal with the Devil
Blackie Lawless – vocals, rhythm guitar
Doug Blair – lead guitar
Mike Duda – bass
Mike Dupke – drums
For the first edition of the new review feature, Rare Rock Rewind, I want to introduce you to a band that hit the music scene in the late 80’s. There were a lot of great bands getting signed during this time, but quite a few never got the marketing push by their record labels, and went greatly unnoticed by the public.
China is perfect example of this!
China is a swiss rock/glam band that started back in 1987. This band features Math Shiverow on vocals, Freddy Laurence and Claudio Matteo on Guitars, John Dommen on Drums, and Marc Lynn on bass. This band was signed by Polygram and got a little help from Krokus members Marc Storace and Fernando von Arb. Krokus front man, Marc Storace sang back up on a few tracks and Krokus guitar player Fernando von Arb has the writing credits on the track, “Back to You“.
I was one of many people that never heard of this band back in the day (and I thought I knew them all). I recently heard a track off of this disc on an internet hard rock radio station that I frequently visit. My first reaction was, who in the hell was that?! I liked it enough to seek out a copy. My persistence paid off, and I was finally able to grab a copy of this one off of Ebay.
I am glad to say that this disc is full of killer 80’s big hair style rock. Some songs have a little more keyboards than I would prefer, but as a whole, this disc rocks!
Check out the video’s below for a couple of the bands songs Shout it Out and Rock City. The sound quality isn’t the greatest, but will give you a good taste of China’s style.
Shout it Out
This disc is full of good songs and no filler. All throughout this disc you can hear hard guitar licks mixed with cool keyboard melodies and the great vocals of Math Shiverow. It is harder than typical AOR music and maybe a bit more melodic than some 80’s hard rock groups. I prefer the harder songs on this disc. The stand outs are Shout it Out,Back to You, Rock City, Living on the Stage, and I Need Your Love.
If you can find this disc, I highly recommend picking this one up. Fans of 80’s style hard rock will love this disc!
It has been out of print for a while, so happy hunting!!
China is participating in Switzerland’s SPIRIT OF ROCK Festival in June, so maybe there is hope for new tunes by these guys in the future.
Rating:Out of 10
- Shout It Out
- Back to You
- The Fight is On
- Wild Jealousy
- Rock City
- Hot Lovin’ Night
- Living on the Stage
- I Need Your Love
- One Shot to the Heart
- Staying Alive
- Don’t Look Back* (Bonus Track)
The Godfathers of Progressive Rock, Rush, are ushering in the first of many great releases in May. Snakes and Arrows is the first studio disc from Rush since 2002’s Vapor Trails. I have been anxiously awaiting to hear the latest and greatest by these Canadian Rock Gods!
Snakes & Arrows is one of those CD’s that is immediately great from the first listen. The production is amazing, and music is absolutely fantastic.
Let me start by saying that I have already listened to the first two tracks Far Cry and Armor and Sword several times, and both tracks are superb Rush classics. I can’t get enough of either one of them, and keep replaying them if that tells you anything.
It never ceases to amaze me how Rush makes a song like Workin’ Them Angels, work for them. For an average band, this would be filler, but Rush is far from an average band. From the musical arrangement, a hint of mediterranean sound creeps into the music, but still maintains a heavy feel. Unbelievable!I thought the The Larger Bowl seemed like a strange name for a song. I have listened to this one a few times, and it just doesn’t work for me. If feels a lot like a filler track.
The guitar riff on Spindrift has a heavy almost haunting feel to it. This is a song about waves crashing in and out, which is a metaphor for a relationship. It is an interesting track but not essential.
The Main Monkey Business is the first of three instrumentals on Snakes & Arrows. The others are the acoustic guitars of Hope and the bass centric Malignant Narcissism. The Main Monkey Business is a great 6 plus minute progressive jam, where the other two are short little two minute romps.
The Way the Wind Blows starts with a bluesy guitar riff that would make Stevie Ray Vaughn proud. It then goes through some varying changes, from bass heavy to light acoustic. This song gets a little lengthy, but is one hell of a cool Rush track.
Faithless is a cool track that you really need to listen to the words to fully absorb.
Bravest Face almost has an alternative feel to it at first with its jangly acoustic guitars. Once Alex Lifeson starts up the howling guitars, and Geddy Lee starts really belting out the notes, I start to take notice. This is one of those songs that goes back and forth in the way it sounds. At first listen I felt it was filler, but the playing is so good, that I have grown to like this track with a few more listens.
Good News First is one of those songs that you need to crank up to fully appreciate it. Alex Lifeson’s guitar is so clean polished sounding it really needs to be listened to a few times to really absorb what you are hearing.
We Hold On is another track that I could hear getting some radio play. It is another solid track, and great way to close out this disc.
The difference between Snakes & Arrows, and other rock albums is you can hear a lot of heart in the music, and can tell that Rush took a lot of time painstakingly putting these tunes together. Even the CD booklet has full color images on ever page with all of the lyrics included.
Snakes & Arrows isn’t a disc full of radio ready hits, although there are some. This is a disc that is more about the music, than making hits. I am sure this will please the majority of Rush fans out there, and a lot of Hard Rock fans in general. Geddy Lee hasn’t lost anything in his vocal range, and the Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart still sound better than many of young guys out there playing today.
Is Snakes & Arrows the best Rush disc I have ever heard? No, but it is very good. I liked this disc from the first note, and will be surely playing this one a lot over the coming weeks. I think a lot of you will be too!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Far Cry
2. Armor and Sword
3. Workin’ Them Angels
4. The Larger Bowl
6. The Main Monkey Business
7. Way the Wind Blows
10. Bravest Face
11. Good News First
12. Malignant Narcissism
13. We Hold On
A great new sleaze band is Rockets to Ruin from Atlanta, Georgia. This band has listed their influences as Guns N’ Roses and Motley Crue, and you can certainly hear it in their music. The debut CD by this four piece outfit was produced by Skid Row’s Rachel Bolan.
Lead singer Cleveland Willis has a punk rock type of voice, so you will either love him or hate him. The music is what makes this band stand out.
Love*Drugs*Rebellion starts off with We are the Drugs which is a raw and heavy sounding tune. It isn’t the strongest of lead off songs that I have heard this year but it is solid.
I prefer Take a Ride With me (straight to Hell) over the first track. This is a great song with lots of replay value. This reminds me of some of L.A. Guns early stuff.
Take a Ride With me (straight to Hell)
Each time I hear Devil Girl, I like it more and more. I haven’t heard raw sleaze metal like this in a long time.
The guitar riff on Screamin’ At Me is of the typical 3 chord variety, but the track reminds me of early Motley Crue, and that is a good thing.
Burnin’ starts off like a cannon shot into your gut. A killer riff entails, and there are some excellent solos in this song that remind of me of Guns ‘N Roses in a sense.
1 More Fix is the longest track on Love*Drugs*Rebellion, and the band absolutely jams on this track.
Helpless is a catchy number with a very cool sound. Lots of cowbells in the drumming, and more heavy guitars. This is another tune that grows on me with each listen.
Gotta Go, Gotta Roll is another contagious rocker with a great sing along chorus.
Revolution and Nowhere to Go (no Time to Care) both felt like filler tracks to me. I didn’t care for either one very much. The music is good though, and I am betting that some of these songs translate better live.
Rockets to Ruin probably won’t win any awards for originality, but the music is damn good. It is great to hear new bands carrying on the Sleaze Rock tradition in 2007. Love*Drugs*Rebellion is a solid debut, and one that makes me think that Rockets to Ruin will be a band to keep an eye on in the future. Great things are sure to come from this group!
You can listen to more of the band’s tunes at their myspace page here. You can pick their CD up from CDBaby.com.
Rating: Out of 10
- We Are the Drugs
- Take a Ride With Me (straight to Hell)
- Devil Girl
- Screamin’ At Me
- 1 More Fix
- Gotta Go, Gotta Roll
- Nowhere to Go (no Time to Care)
A killer new hard rock band I recently discovered is Fatal Smile. These Swedish rockers have been together for a while (1995) and Neo Natural Freaks is their 2nd release. I saw recently that they were opening for W.A.S.P. in the UK. I knew W.A.S.P. had to have a quality hard rock act opening up for them, so I had to dig up some information on them. Once I heard a few of the tunes, I knew I had to pick this one up.
They have a sound that reminds me of a cross between Black Sabbath and Dokken (musically, not vocally). Lead Singer, H.B. Anderson has an excellent metal voice. He can handle the heavy and melodic parts perfectly.
Neo Natural Freaks is a blistering hard disc, and is highly listenable. This is 80’s style hard rock with a heavy modern feel.
The title track Neo Natural Freaks starts the disc off with high speed, head banger. This is a great song to start off the disc with, and immediately leaves you wanting more.
Bleeding Kiss starts with a heavy Sabbath like riff, and kind of reminds of an Accept tune, but H.B Anderson uses more of a pure singing voice than the throaty screams of singer UDO Dirkschneider. This track has a heavy bass and guitar riff that will please most hard rock fans out there.
The first two tracks were great prep work for the audio assault that is Crash & Burn. This heavy song is one of my favorite tracks on this disc.
Nothing prepared me for the Skid Row like heaviness of Learn-Love-Hate. The band recorded a video for this ultra cool song. Check it out below!
The deep bass and heavy guitars on Quiet Chaos gives this tune a heavy Black Sabbath feel to it. This is another great track worth hearing!
Practise What You Preach is another heavy track in the vein of Accept .
H.B. Anderson almost sounds like Doug Pinnick of King’s X on Dead Man Walkin. This song seemingly looses cohesion towards the end and loses me. Color Blind keeps the vocal feel of King’s X, but is much better than the track before it.
Common People has more of an 80’s sleaze feel to it. This is another stand out track on Neo Natural Freaks.
11th Hour closes this disc with another good Skid Row like number.
Fatal Smile was a great surprise for me. It is always great to hear new bands that are carrying on that 80’s hard rock sound. I would have loved to had a few more tracks in the vein of Love-Learn-Hate, but as a whole I am quite pleased with this disc. You can listen to and pick up Neo Natural Freaks at CD Baby.com.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Neo Natural Freaks
2. Bleeding Kiss
3. Crash & Burn
4. Learn – Love – Hate
5. Quiet Chaos
6. Practise What You Preach
7. Dead Man Walking
8. Color Blind
9. Common People
10. 11th Hour
What you may not know, is the current lineup that Foreigner guitarist Mick Jones has put together, is a supergroup of Hard Rock Veterans, including Kelly Hanson (Hurricane) on vocals, Jason Bonham (Bonham) on drums, and Jeff Pilson (Dokken) on bass.
I had to do some digging and found that they did release a live album with this lineup. Amazingly, you can find this CD in the discounted CD sections at Walmart and Best Buy for a mere $6.00.
How do they sound? Amazing! Just what you would expect from a lineup this great! Kelly Hanson handles the songs like a pro, and sounds very close to former Foreigner vocalist Lou Gramm.
Die hard Foreigner fans may hate the changes, but personally, I think this is an enhancement over the original band. I hope that they will do a studio disc with this lineup.
The songs in this live collection, need no introduction, they are all great Foreigner classics. Take a look at the videos and judge for yourself.
Feels Like the First Time
You can’t beat the price of this live CD. The sound quality on this disc is very good, and will only whet your appetite to see Foreigner live when they hit your town in 2007!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Head Games
2. Cold as Ice
3. Waiting for a Girl Like You
4. Dirty White Boy
6. Feels Like the First Time
8. Juke Box Hero/Whole Lotta Love
9. I Want to Know What Love Is
10. Hot Blooded
Paul has since formed a new four piece band called Adrenaline Factor that features many of the AC/DC like aspects of Broken Teeth, and if anything, this band may be a little better.
Adrenaline Factor is Lee Scott on lead vocals, Paul Lidel on guitar, Steve Sweat on bass, and
Armando Reyes on drums.
Singer Lee Scott sounds like he came from the Bon Scott family. The songs on this disc are not very complex. It is the same three chord style that you are accustomed to hearing from AC/DC. The music will not surprise you, unless you are astounded how close Lee sounds to Bon.
Some of these tracks demand to be heard! The opening track track Ride is a smoking hard track that just kicks your ass right out of the gate.
Boozin’ Susan is the fist in the air, beer swilling rocker that makes you beg for more.
Seven Year Bitch is a foot tapping, catchy song that will have you singing along in no time.
The closing track Goin’ Nowhere is closer to Deep Purple in sound than AC/DC (no, I am not kidding.).
Paul Lidel has been playing similar riffs in Dirty Looks, and Broken Teeth for years, and he has the AC/DC sound down pat. If you are tired of waiting for the new AC/DC disc, as am I, then you could do a lot worse than picking up Adrenaline Factor’s debut. I went back and listened to the last couple of AC/DC discs after this one, and I think is better than anything than AC/DC has done in a while. Do yourself a favor and go check this out!
Rating: out of 10
- Wrong Number
- Boozin’ Susan
- Your Side
- Bad Habit
- Seven Beer Bitch
- No Warning
- Bet Your Life
- Hook Slide
- Goin’ Nowhere